Thoughtful Thursday: Words of Wisdom from Nelson Mandela

By now you all have probably heard the sad news that Nelson Mandela passed away today at 95. Today we mourn the passing of the father of modern South Africa who was, as President Obama reminded us in his statement made just a few minutes ago, “one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”

As the tributes begin to pour in, and we hear again of Mandela’s journey from prisoner to President, let us all remember to talk to our sons and daughters about Nelson Mandela. Here are just a few of his more memorable quotes to be inspired by and to share with them as we honor his memory.

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Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

It always seems impossible until its done.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.

Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.

It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.

Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.

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Rest in Peace, Nelson Mandela.

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One response to “Thoughtful Thursday: Words of Wisdom from Nelson Mandela

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